England planning for ODI World Cup without Ben Stokes: Jos Buttler

Stokes bid adieu to ODI cricket in July 2022

By Web Desk
January 27, 2023
Ben Stokes was crowned ICC Test Cricketer of the Year — AP 

White-ball skipper Jos Buttler has confirmed that England are planning for the upcoming ODI World Cup without Test skipper Ben Stokes, despite hopes that the all-rounder may change his mind about his retirement.

After leading a revitalised England to series victories over New Zealand, South Africa, and Pakistan in 2022, as well as triumphing in their rescheduled match against India, Stokes was crowned ICC Test Cricketer of the Year.

He also played a key role in England's exciting victory over Pakistan in the T20 World Cup final, scoring 52 runs without being dismissed.

Stokes bid adieu to ODI cricket in July 2022, citing that playing all three formats was just "unsustainable" for him. But, the batter had vowed to "give everything" to Test cricket and his "total commitment" to the T20 format.

However, the talismanic all-rounder didn't rule out a return to the format and hinted that he could be playing at the upcoming ODI World Cup next year.

"Who knows how I might feel towards a World Cup at the time," Stokes said in December last year after England were crowned champions of the T20 World Cup in Australia.

Meanwhile, Buttler was questioned about the possibility of Stokes being available in India in October before leading the team in the first of three ODI matches on Friday in South Africa.

"If he wants to change his decision, of course, he'd be welcomed back with open arms but we are very much at the moment planning as if he won't be available," the wicket-keeper batter said.

Stokes will be primarily focused on leading England to its first Ashes victory since 2015 this summer, something Buttler is well aware of. After taking a significant absence from the sport to recover from an injury and deal with mental health difficulties, he missed the most recent series in Australia.

Earlier, England coach Matthew Mott said he will welcome the 31-year-old all-rounder and is eager to wait on his decision.

"The door is always open for a player of that quality, but we are also very aware that his main focus is red-ball cricket as the captain. We respect that, and when he's ready to chat, we'll do that," Mott said, speaking before England's three-match ODI series against South Africa.

When England defeated New Zealand in a thrilling extra over to win the 2019 World Cup final, Stokes was named Player of the Match.

England won't have played a Test match for more than two months by the time of the World Cup, which will take place in October and November.